Rail passengers need a fares freeze, not another increase
Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent transport user passenger watchdog Transport Focus has said,
“After a torrid summer, passengers hit by the timetable crisis will be amazed that the talk is about a fares increase! A fares freeze would benefit all passengers begin the process of re-building trust and start to bring passengers back to a railway they can rely on.
“On top of stagnant or falling real incomes rail passengers will feel the heat of any annual fares increase in regulated fares (from January 2019).
“With Transport for Wales taking over to provide a new rail service from October, passengers in Wales will expect to see the fruits of investment by the time any fare rises take effect next January. Clear communication about how and when improvements will be delivered will be key if passengers in Wales are to be persuaded they can come back to a better and more reliable service.
“Passengers in Scotland will be disappointed to see fares rise (RPI – 1%). Passengers will be expecting to see the fruits of investment in Scotland that delivers improved connectivity, capacity, new trains and station redevelopments, meeting the growth in passenger journeys that has increased by 23.5 million in ten years to 97.8 million journeys. There also needs to be clear communication about how and when improvements will be delivered, in order to rebuild trust due to the recent experience of increased costs and delays to the infrastructure programme.
“We know less than one third (30%) of rail commuters are satisfied with the value for money of their ticket. Despite substantial investment in new trains and track, many passengers have yet to experience a more reliable railway with accurate information, less disruption and better value for money.
“Transport Focus has also long argued that it’s time for a fairer, clearer fares formula based on calculations that use the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), rather than the discredited Retail Price Index. We welcome news that Mr Grayling is now calling on train operators to use CPI to calculate annual fare increases.
“Fare rises also make it vital that passengers can easily access the best value for money fares for their journeys. We know many rail passengers want a smarter ticketing system that they can understand and trust, is simpler to use, better value for money and offers choices that suit the way we travel now. We encourage passengers to have their say about future ticketing in the joint Transport Focus and Rail Delivery Group ‘Easier Fares’ consultation before it closes on 10 September.”
Notes for Editors
The Easier Fares consultation can be found at https://www.britainrunsonrail.co.uk/fares
This grid shows sample fares at January 2018 rates (some may have changed since then) and the probable cost in Jan 2019 if a 3.2% increase is applied across the board. They are for guidance purposes only because the railway may choose to hold some fares down or may legitimately raise some by more than 3.2%, even where regulated.
|Annual Season Tickets journeys||Current Price||Rounded
|Bournemouth – Waterloo||£6,732.00||£6,948||South Western Railway|
|Swindon – Paddington||£8,740.00||£9,020||Great Western Railway|
|High Wycombe – Marylebone||£3,556.00||£3,670||Chiltern Railways|
|Brighton – Victoria||£4,332.00||£4,471||Southern Rail|
|Brighton – Blackfriars||£3,968.00||£4,095||Thameslink|
|Harpenden – St Pancras Intl.||£3,820.00||£3,943||Thameslink|
|Luton – Sutton||£4,368.00||£4,508||Thameslink|
|Northampton – Euston||£5,604.00||£5,784||West Midlands Trains|
|Burton-on-Trent – Derby||£1,428.00||£1,475||Cross Country|
|Manchester – Preston||£2,836.00||£2,927||Northern|
|Blackburn – Manchester||£1,864.00||£1,924||Northern|
|Bolton – Manchester||£1,020.00||£1,053||Northern|
|Blackpool South – Preston||£1,308.00||£1,350||Northern|
|Huddersfield – Leeds||£1,368.00||£1,412||Northern|
|Peterborough – Kings Cross||£7,752.00||£8,001||London North Eastern Railway|
|Basildon – Fenchurch Street||£2,852.00||£2,944||c2c|
|Caerphilly – Cardiff Queen St.||£980.00||£1,012||Arriva Trains Wales|
|Ludlow – Hereford||£2,212.00||£2,283||Arriva Trains Wales|
|North Berwick – Edinburgh||£1,804.00||£1,862||ScotRail|
|Stirling – Glasgow Queen St.||£2,160.00||£2,230||ScotRail|
|Off-peak/Super Off-peak returns|
|Paddington – Exeter via Taunton||£117.00||£120.80||Great Western Railway|
|King’s Cross – Newcastle||£137.40||£141.80||London North Eastern Railway|
|Euston – Glasgow||£142.50||£147.10||Virgin Trains|
|Euston – Manchester||£86.90||£89.70||Virgin Trains|
|St Pancras Intl – Derby||£66.50||£68.60||East Midlands|
|Liverpool Street – Norwich||£55.00||£56.80||Greater Anglia|
|Dundee – Edinburgh||£28.30||£29.20||ScotRail|
|Carmarthen – Swansea||£16.70||£17.20||Arriva Trains Wales|
For further information please contact Kieran Watkins, Senior communications officer
Tel: 0300 123 0836 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transport Focus is the independent consumer organisation representing the interests of:
- rail passengers in Great Britain
- bus, coach and tram users across England outside London
- all users of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads (the Strategic Road Network).
We work to make a difference for all transport users.